Third pond build - filter, bottom drain, etc. advice needed

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by max384, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. max384

    max384

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    I'll be moving next month, and one of the first things on my list of things to do is to dig a new pond.

    I started off with a 400 gallon pond with a small biofilter and a small pump with a deep end of only about two feet. No bottom drain, UV filter, skimmer, or mechanical filter.

    My second (and current) pond is 2000 gallons with a bottom drain, 4000 gph submersible main pump, small mechanical pre-filter, 55 gallon biofilter, and skimmer with 900 gph pump and 9V UV filter. The main pump leads to a small waterfall and stream for aeration. My skimmer pump is routed back into the pond to provide circular water movement for my fish.

    What I don't like about the current pond is my mechanical filter. It is homemade. It consists of a few sheets of flat filter sheets in my pump box right before my main filter. It clogs easily and is a pain to remove and clean. Truthfully, my design was just plain poor. I also don't like my pump being submersible. It is a pain to do maintenance on, especially when the pond water is cold during the early spring and late fall.

    On my next pond, I'm planning on about 6000ish gallons with a deep end of about 4-5 feet. I'm planning on an oval pond about 10 x 20 feet or so. It'll be mostly in the shade, as opposed to my current pond that is in the sun almost entirely. I'd like a better solution for a mechanical filter. I've been looking at some of the pressure filters, but they all include a biofilter as well. I'd like to continue using a 55 gallon drum biofilter. I guess I could always use both together, but that doesn't seem like the most cost-effective solution.

    I'd also like to look into an external pump. I'm planning on putting in a small shed to house the pump and filters. What I'm worried about is the noise of an external pump. Can anyone who uses an external pump tell me their experience?

    I'm definitely going to have a bottom drain again, possibly two. I'm not sure about that.

    So anyhow, after all this rambling, do you guys have any advice mechanical filters or advice in general on this build. I'll be breaking ground in about a month and half or so.
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  2. max384

    Tula

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    @addy1 uses an external pump and really likes it. I have some filter pads in my leaf basket in the skimmer and matala filter pads ( blue)slid into the filter bracket in my skimmer. Sometimes it's a pain, because it does too good a job of mechanical filtration and I'm cleaning it frequently, but it does a good job. From there, the water goes to a pressurized filter and then a shower filter ( biological filtration).

    Hope this helps and best of luck on the sale of your home and your new pond dig!
     
    Tula, Jun 13, 2015
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  3. max384

    max384

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    Thanks Tula!
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  4. max384

    max384

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    I'm now looking more into these pressure filters, and I'm seeing there are models out there with UV, mechanical, and bio filtration for koi ponds my size and larger. I'm wondering if these all-in-one filters may be the way to go instead of using a separate mechanical, UV, and 55 gallon biofilter. They seem too good to be true, considering their smaller size. Do they actually work as well as a large biofilter?
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  5. max384

    Tula

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    Mine has worked well for many years, however as my koi have grown, I'm adding the shower filer for more biological filtration. The water will go from my pressurized filter to the shower filter, which sits on the side of the pond :) It's Japanese Lantern Shower Filter, it's effective and I like it's simple design and appearance.
     
    Tula, Jun 13, 2015
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  6. max384

    michey1st

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    What about some sort of gravity-fed settlement tank? My understanding is that in a perfect world, the bulk of your mechanical filtration should occur before it gets to your pump (because the pump chops all the poo and such in to itty bitty pieces). So, since you'll have bottom drains, tie them in to a settlement tank and then from there, go to your external pump (maybe with a pre-filter to be safe) and on to the biological filter.

    At least that's what I gather from the different bits of research I've been doing. The settlement tank is basically a separate container at the same water level as your pond. Since it is connected via a pipe to your bottom drains, it acts as an extension of your pond and water will naturally go there. By tying the pump into that tank, it sucks water from your bottom drains in the pond proper, up through some sort of mechanical filtration in the settlement tank and the mechanically filtered water then gets pulled out to your pump and whatever else farther down the loop.

    Bare in mind, I haven't done this myself, but i've been reading about it.
     
    michey1st, Jun 13, 2015
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  7. max384

    MitchM

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    Which pressure filter are you looking at, Max?
     
    MitchM, Jun 13, 2015
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  8. max384

    MitchM

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    I switched to an external pump from having a submerged pump in the skimmer box.
    I find the external pump to be quieter. There was a noticable hum coming from the skimmer using the submerged pump.
     
    MitchM, Jun 13, 2015
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    Mucky_Waters

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    Going directly from a bottom drain to a pressure filter is counter productive, to say the least. Combination mechanical and bio-filters are a bad idea for larger ponds. Pressure filters are not usually designed to handle the large volumes of debris and dead algae you'll likely have to deal with in a pond that size, they plug easy and most of them are notoriously hard to clean.
    A settlement tank or chamber could work, but if you work out the size chamber you'll need to get adequate settling with a flow of at least 6,000 gph, (which you should have for that size a pond), you'll find the settlement chamber needs to be very, very large.
    Your best bet is a sieve. Sieves can handle large ponds with larger water flows and lots of muck and debris before they need to be cleaned, and are super easy to clean when you do clean them, and they take up very little space.

     
    Mucky_Waters, Jun 13, 2015
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  10. max384

    max384

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    Thanks for posting your experience. Which filter do you have, and what size pond?

    I had looked into a settlement tank when I was building my current pond. However, I really just didn't like the aesthetics of having an empty small pond next to my big one... Plus cleaning the settlement tank is then a pain, and I'd like to decrease my maintenance, and I fear this may increase it. Thanks for the thought though!
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  11. max384

    max384

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    I haven't looked at any one in particular. I've just been browsing. I like the backwash option available on some of the pricier ones though.

    That's good to hear. Which pump are you using?
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  12. max384

    MitchM

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    I'm using a spare Reeflo Dart I had ( consumes about 150w, puts out about 2500gph) from my indoor saltwater aquarium. It replaced the in-skimmer pump that I was using before, about the same output, but was consuming 900 watts. The dart is working well, but really needs a pre filter.

    That sieve that Mucky posted looks good. It looks like it's made out of styrofoam, which would make it easy to bring in for the winter (I'm looking for an extra filtration method as well).
     
    MitchM, Jun 13, 2015
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  13. max384

    max384

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    I'm on my phone, and missed this post.

    This sieve looks like a great option... But I'm not seeing many buying options, and the ones I'm seeing are around $1000+.

    Regardless, I'm trying to picture how this is connected to a system. Do these only work with an external pump that is placed after the sieve?
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  14. max384

    Mucky_Waters

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    Click the quote box to expand to see my replies.
    One caveat having a sieve (or a settling chamber) is you need to have it located below your pond water level. This usually requires either a raised pond or a filter pit area. Most people build a pit area and have all their pond filters and pump down in the pit. If you are going to dig a 6,000 gal pond a small pit area isn't that much more digging, and a pit is a great way to hide all your pumps and filter.
     
    Mucky_Waters, Jun 13, 2015
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  15. max384

    max384

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    Thanks for the info. This really does seem like a good option...

    But I think needing to have it below pond water level will be a deal breaker for me. My experience with pits or holes in my area is that they always fill with water, and I don't like the look of a raised pond. Though, I'll do a bit more research and think about it, but I think I'm leaning more toward an all-in-one pressure filter, even if it isn't the absolute best option.
     
    max384, Jun 13, 2015
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  16. max384

    MitchM

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    I think one difference that should be pointed out is that commercially available pressure filters are designed so that they are effecient. When you compare them to DIY setups, DIY setups are usually very inefficient, but can make up for that by being built large to compensate, for little extra expense.

    Plus, you should take ratings for filters to be an approximate number. A lot depends on the design of the pond itself and what kind of water circulation it has, not just what the total water volume is.
     
    MitchM, Jun 13, 2015
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  17. max384

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    You can't even really hear mine standing by it.
     
    addy1, Jun 13, 2015
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  18. max384

    Dave 54

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    Max in reality a good system depends on just how deep your pockets are and how good a filter you want it to be.
    Many koi people just love the nexus , others bead filters or even Bakki Showers, sieves, a humble barrel filter
    So in reality its down to you which you prefare not us we can only point you in the right direction .......
    I have a booklet about filters done by the AKCA you could perhaps buy it then take a look at a copy .
    Its propper title is AKCA Guide to filters and Pre-filters ."published by the Accociated Koi Clubs of America".
    They can be bought directly from the AKCA website using PayPal
    Hope this helps you Max

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    Dave 54, Jun 14, 2015
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  19. max384

    max384

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    Thanks for this information. I'll have to Google this document
     
    max384, Jun 14, 2015
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  20. max384

    Dave 54

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    I hope it helps my friend getting it right the first time around is the best way to do it , that way your not going to try dury rigging another system to the pond with all the problems that may bring.
    In the AKCA book you'll find one thats different in such a way it would be a centre piece to any pond and thats the Christmas Tree Bakki shower , looking at it even I recon I could knock out one very simmilar too it .

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jun 14, 2015
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